Credentialing is a process used to evaluate the qualifications and practice history of a doctor, including a review of completed education, training, residency, and licenses. It also includes any certifications issued by a board in the doctor’s area of specialty.
Many urgent care centers assume their providers are fully credentialed; however, it is advisable to do your due diligence when engaging a new physician to ensure he or she has the necessary credentials. Even if a provider is credentialed up front, few independent urgent care centers manage a process to recredential the provider on a scheduled basis. Credentialing needs to be more than a one-time activity, as licensures expire and there are annual CME requirements, for instance.
Ensuring that all providers are fully (and currently) credentialed can constitute a full-time job for a moderate-sized urgent care operation—labor many operations cannot afford. Consequently, many urgent care operators choose to outsource this process as needed. This can be a perfectly viable choice, and a more cost-effective way to ensure all physicians are appropriately credentialed, as long as you also do your due diligence on the vendor you choose to engage for this important work.
(For more insights into day-to-day credentialing considerations, read Beware of Urgent Care Contract Clauses on Offshore Vendors, Other Issues by Kelly Mattingly.)
North Central College